Saturday, November 4, 2017

Book Review: Never Look at the Empty Seats: A Memoir by Charlie Daniels

Anyone who has lived in the US and listens to the radio regularly will know Charlie Daniels and his song about the Devil that went down to Georgia. Charlie has been around the US music scene for decades and has outlived and outplayed many of his early contemporaries such as Elvis Presley. It is amazing to consider what legends this man has known, played music with and just met on a regular basis.
This book is my first direct introduction into the world of country music. I have seen movies and read stories, but I never before took the time and read a book by someone who has been associated with country music and the Southern US music scene for this many years. I am glad I made the decision to read this book. It reads like a crash course on music history of the Southern US and country music from the 1940s on. And despite being a crash course on music history, you get the feeling that Charlie Daniels never really wrote a book, but sat down and talked to someone who shared his interest in music. The book reads like a collection of stories that your old and wise grandfather is sharing with you. Written like a collection of stories in the tradition of the storytellers from the Appalachian Mountains, the book provides valuable life lessons in the form of stories. The reader can draw their own conclusions about what is important in life and people may make different observations in these stories, but anyone of the stories speaks of the experiences of Charlie Daniels from years on the road as a performer. Whether it is never being afraid of failure, doing what you love doing and doing it well or there is some form of reward at the end for hard work, the stories may be focused on Charlie Daniels' life as a performer, but deep down they are stories about people working and living and trying to be good at something.
There may be disappointments and there are maybe few highlights in your life, but you can still be satisfied with any achievement. I recommend this book to any fan of country music, Southern US culture and people just looking for a collection of good stories.
available at

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

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